Having announced that there would be no Celebrity Big Brother this year, Endemol then sneakily delivered this uppercut. No celebrities involved, just a load of potentially successful youngsters and celebrities acting as Big Brother, in command of the housemates. Interesting. Of course, they’re still irritating, constantly talking about how they can do amazing shits. But at least they’re a cut above your Maxwell and Aisleynnes, i.e. they have brains and aren’t just malicious spuds on sticks or pointless tit-carriers.
All of this is a good thing as it means nobody with a Jade Goody-like brain turned up, dragging their Victorian freak-show mother behind them and a big pair of stupid plastic wangers up front. Nobody involved, so far, has been irredeemably stupid. Watching the show is fractionally more pleasurable as a result as there’s not yet been any genuine spite – spite being the stuff critics say the likes of stupid-old-me tune in for.
It’s also better because there aren’t as many of the bastards to remember. And they’ll only be around for 12 weeks so those of us who are weirdly addicted to this rubbish will be spared the horror of Week 24 when racist foodfights, footage of people sleeping and unlikely and revolting sexual couplings tend to happen out of the contestants’ sheer boredom.
In terms of celebs, we’ve had a couple already. Firstly, Matt Lucas was effective, literally getting inside the head of housemate John via an earpiece and utterly humiliating him as soon as he entered the house, commanding him to act like a tit as his new pals entered, one by one. The highlight was the moment he was commanded to drop to the floor and scream ‘I’ve got cramp’. Inexplicably amusing. Then they revealed to everyone else it was a set up, relieving the tension before it could’ve got nasty, with the rest of the house bitching about the weirdo Scotch man.
It bode well, but then Ian Wright (who, being a gooner, I happen to have a soft spot for) turned up and started acting like a big fanny, blathering on about his charity work, apropos of nothing, and eyeing up the totty – of which there is admittedly a bountiful supply.
So let’s go through the housemates before they disappear into obscurity, despite their talents.
John: Aforementioned Scottish youth activist. Of gargantuan size. Eager to please, which is grating, but reasonably smart. Kilt was ill-advised. Got into hot tub on day one, forcing others to crush themselves into tiny corners in order not to make bodily contact with him.
Jade: Unfortunately-monickered beauty queen. From some angles incredibly beautiful, from others resembles a confused death mask. Desperately eager to please, which is grating, but has a top botty. And let’s face it lads, that’ll do us. Apparently a straight ‘A’ student, but she must’ve cheated.
Liam: Freakish boy/man/monkey with a thriving media-based business, the like of which I could never comprehend. Occasionally speaks, but happily keeps it to a minimum. Seems more concerned with the fact that his wig is on horizontally than with the fact he is on television. Wears stupid pants.
Latoya: Reserved and possibly calculating dancer who seems indifferent to anything other than watching herself doing the odd bodypop. Interesting haircut undermined by a seemingly small brain lurking somewhere beneath it.
Anthony: Successful boxer. Looks like a thug but turns out he’s quite the gent, and an affable one at that. I’ll give it two weeks until he aimlessly punches a window and gets asked to leave.
Calista: Musician who can certainly play a good piece on the old Joanna, but whose lyrics are, being harsh, shit. Desperately eager to please, specifically when it comes to Jay, but is so innocuous he can’t even remember her name.
Nathan: Mobo winning R&B type who let himself down badly when bum-sucking Ian Wright (he must be an Arsenal fan). That toadying was a real off-putter. Also, being over 21 and middle class, I don’t know what ‘stoosh’ means, so loses points again.
Amy: ‘Artist’ who is likeable enough, but whose talent consists of ripping off better artists. Looks like Vivienne Westwood as played by Heather Mills.
Jeremy: Racing driver with the snidest face in the house. Looks like Pete Doherty after a collision with Harry Potter in which much bile was spilt. His face is constantly in sneer-mode and it’s weirdy endearing. Is so calculating, the only explanation is that he smuggled in a calculator.
Amelia and Victor: Brother and sister contortionist combo. Circus performers who, in the words of Amelia, can ‘put their asses on their heads’. He is as thick as pigshit, and so is she, but she can put her ass on her head, which is probably sexually impractical but makes the mind-boggle all the same.
Jay: Bruno.You know Bruno? That Borat spin off? That’s Jay. I need say no more.
So Big Brother is back, in a very slightly different format. I suggest you revert to your usual BB default mode – complete ignorance peppered with the odd nasty remark when the subject is raised by others or complete, embarrassed immersion and self-disgust. I’m in the latter camp, sadly.